We have all heard that, change is the only thing that really is constant in our lives. This also applies to our businesses. There are things that will constantly evolve and change, and we must embrace this change and adapt accordingly.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has also already alerted us about the changing world. We have had to ditch our traditional methods of working inside a four-walled office. We are now adapting to this change in lifestyle by conducting our businesses online, and from the comfort of our respective homes.
These radical changes can make us wonder about how we can bring our hosting business into the 21st century. The first change that you need to bring about in your business is to use technology for centralizing the operations. In this digital world, you must let technology manage your business for you.
For example, you can make your hosting business move forward by integrating the hosting with the hosting control panels. You can find important tools mentioned below that can help and guide you to manage your digital and web hosting business in the 21st century business world.
1. Remote Work
As your business expands, you will need to hire more help. You will have to sustain the growth and expansion of your company. It is difficult to give up control and profits, but it is a must to keep the business alive. The web hosting business requires high customer satisfaction, where the customer must be treated as the number one priority.
Many companies falsely promise the best quality products and customer support, so there is already a crack in the reputation of the industry. Thus, you will have to fight a bad reputation and ensure that they love your service.
As the company grows, you can delegate smaller work such as answering phone calls and responding to live chats. Furthermore, you must also learn how to communicate with your employees, understand them, and put the effort into helping them. You can start small by hiring a small number of workers, or part-time workers whom you don’t have to pay full-time.
You can first give small duties, analyze their work and their work ethic, and then decides if they would be a good full-time employee. You can look for freelance employees on job hunting websites like LinkedIn and other places, so that you get the option of remote workers for running the operations.
You must draft a contract for your employees, both remote and full-time that outlines their working hours, salary, and other details.
2. Believe In Your Team
Remote work looks like the future for businesses that are willing to stay relevant with the changes. You don’t need more than a laptop and an internet connection to work from anywhere.
Remote work brings many benefits, which are the reason behind many companies establishing teams and processes that enable employees to work from anywhere. The virtual working helps employees, as it allows for time-saving that is usually spent for commute, and it also provides with flexible working hours
However, there are some concerns with virtual teams, such as lack of communication and understanding. Below are few tips to ensure that your remote employees’ team is strong and reliable:
• Make the Work Accessible and Easy to Find: Especially in a remote workforce, it is important to make sure all of the files are accessible by the employees on a single platform, so that there is no confusion. This allows employees to share and update the work easily.
• Create Opportunities for Making Personal Connections: Personal connections are easier to make at traditional workplaces, when employees interact physically. To increase personal connections and collaboration amongst remote employees, you can organize meet and greets 3 or 4 times a year.
• Learn How to Communicate with Individual Team Members: You may want to communicate with team members individually through email to make sure that you are not disturbing them in between important work.
• Hold Weekly Team Meetings: Weekly team meetings with all the members can help them share ideas, collaborate, brainstorm, and work better.
3. Web Hosting Billing Software
As the web hosting software business grows, the underlying company infrastructure such as processes must also grow. The traditional billing method will not be able to make sustainable growth and profit. An automatic and modern Web Hosting Billing Softwares can fix the following challenges.
• Old Billing Platforms cannot Keep Up with Company Growth: An old bulling system will not be able to pace with the growth of the customer base and number of services.
• The Key Features aren’t Integrated: Modern billing software can improve the effectiveness and speed of workflow by integrating sales, support, client management, and other areas. Modern billing software can improve customer management, even when there is a large customer base, which is by automating invoices, manage customer details and history, and expediting late payments.
• Poor Customer Support Means Lost Business: If technical problems are not fixed right away, customers get frustrated and look for service elsewhere. The modern billing software has an intelligent helpdesk that acts as the back-office engine. The tickets are created automatically, tracked and the number is analyzed against different departments to work out any operational problems. They also provide a self-service portal for ticket submission, monitoring progress, and easy access to information.
• A Hosting Business has Unique Requirements: Web hosting businesses require support for virtualization and integrated billing and device management that improve billing support, which is provided by modern billing software.
4. Virtualization VPS Management Software
Virtualization is one of the few technologies that have revolutionized the business world. The following are some benefits of using Virtualization VPS Panels.
• Virtualization Saves Investment on IT Hardware: You will be able to convert multiple physical machines into Virtual Ones, and all of them can be hosted on one or few physical machines. This reduces the money spent on mechanical equipment. Fewer hardware ripples effect onto lower on-going support and maintenance costs.
• Virtualization Saves Excessive Power Costs: Less amount of IT hardware will result in fewer amounts of power requirements. This will ultimately reduce the amount of power consumed by the company. The company will be able to save a lot of power expenses in the long run.
• Virtualization has Easier and Cost-effective Maintenance: Virtualization can save money on server and labor lifecycle maintenance. There are only a few physical servers, which means that there are less maintenance and monitoring costs. Furthermore, it would also reduce the manpower required to handle multiple servers.
• Virtualization Ensures Better Reliability and Security: Virtualization can enhance security as they will have fewer IT servers and smaller infrastructure to handle. It also saves the costs of accidents occurring in the security or IT infrastructure.
5. Web Hosting Control Panel
A web hosting control panel is a web-based or graphical user interface that can be accessed online. It provides tools that help you manage a website, the server, and the web hosting account. These Hosting Control Panels can be accessed via a web browser.
You would not want to work on a black screen with certain commands and monochrome lettering. The better option is a graphical interface, which allows you to work by clicking on icons and moving around the windows. End users of your hosting services will find it better to work on a virtual interface. A control panel provides the following functions:
• Account Administration: Functions such as handling the clients’ credit card information, altering billing profiles, updating passwords, and more.
• One-Click Installation: They are incredibly easy to install onto your system.
• FTP: File Transfer Protocol is used to transfer the files easily from the web hosting service to personal computers.
• File Management: The control panels provide a browser-based file manager with the easy drag-and-drop system.
• Support: Live chat and other support features can ensure customer satisfaction.
• Domain Management: The control panel provides domain renewal, subdomain management, registering new domains, and more features.
• Email Management: It helps set up, delete, and manage mail accounts.
• Database Management: You can set up and check on online databases.
• Backups: A built-in backup can help store old data.
6. Payment Getaway Solutions
A payment getaway allows payments for any kinds of retailers in any business and even in the web hosting business. It ensures that sensitive data such as credit card information entered into a website are passed securely from the client to the merchant. In this case, it ensures that end clients provide information to web hosting companies securely.
Traditionally, payment processors and Web Hosting Payment Getaways were separate firms but now many companies offer both of the services. The following are some benefits of a payment gateway:
• Secure Transactions: The payment gateways use industry-standard encryption that protects sensitive information which protects both sellers and clients from frauds.
• Expanded Customer Base: It enables shoppers worldwide to have access to your website or store which will expand your customer base.
• Bundled with Shopping Cart: The gateway services bundle shopping cart software in their programs where customers can select products with a click and add them to their shopping cart. The cart automatically calculates the total cost of the products with necessary taxes and shipping fees.
• Faster Transaction Processing: Payment gateways are faster than manual processing and customers can purchase goods without having to wait in long lines.
• Added Convenience: A payment gateway allows your store to be open for 24 hours every day of the week which increases your sales.
7. Affiliate Program and Marketing
Web hosting is a rather new industry but it is growing exponentially. Once you are done setting up your website and your entire infrastructure, you must target the right audience.
The Affiliate Program is a marketing program, where your web hosting company can sign up resellers and freelancers. They promote and sell your products through digital media on a commission-based payment model.
The following are reasons why you should sign up for an affiliate program marketing to promote your web hosting business.
• Handpick Your Partners: As a retailer, you can choose the marketing company that you want to work with. You have the opportunity to evaluate their suitability to your business, and choose the best one for you.
• Targeted Traffic: It is important to target the right audience for your products. An affiliate marketer will be able to understand your industry, and help you receive the right sales from your audience.
• Pay for Performance and Sales: This marketing technique is worth your money, as you pay only on the results. You only pay commission to them when a sale is made, which also offers flexibility.
• Increase SEO: SEO is important for online retailers as it shows up your products when people search for something related. Affiliate marketing provides many backlinks to your site through affiliate blogs and websites.
8. Web Hosting Coupon Websites
Popular online stores and websites offer Coupons and hand them out to their customers from time to time. Use of coupons has proven to be remarkably beneficial for sellers. Coupons are discounts and loved by every customer.
Couponing can be a unique and exciting way to attract customers, and then sell them products. From high-priced to low-priced services, you can use the opportunity to sell the slow moving services. The following are a few benefits of coupon marketing:
• Help you drive up more sales by providing attractive sales
• Getting more frequent and loyal customers
• Clearing out unwanted stock of products
• Driving more traffic to the store and increase more interest through social media
• Targeted local advertising
• Mass exposure
• Word-of-mouth recommendations
• Up-sell and cross-sell: This method sells high-priced products in the same category or offers related products as suggestions.
• Speedy promotion
• Speedy sales
• No upfront advertising costs
The following are some ways you can use coupon marketing:
• Offer coupons for first-time and frequent buyers
• Use coupons to tempt customers into visiting your website during festival season
• Offer price-minimum coupons to increase per-sale revenue
• Create “Buy One Get One Free” coupons to sell low selling services
9. Client Reviews and Testimonials
Reviews are one of the most important information that you can put up on your website or any other marketing communication. Testimonials provide you with potential customers the final push to convince them to buy your product. Research has shown that the testimonials are 89% effective in changing the minds of your customers.
Testimonials are not exactly client reviews. They are the few handpicked reviews that look good for your brand. You can pick a couple of your loyal customers who swear by your services and ask them to endorse your brand. Reviews can be for or against your product so you cannot count on those to endorse your brand.
A testimonial is important because it establishes your service’s credibility in front of your prospective buyers. No one wants to be the first person to try out a brand and waste their money on it. They are more likely to trust someone who has already tried it.
The following are 3 things that a great testimonial require:
• The client’s hesitation to buy the product
• The client’s discovery after the purchase of the product
• The client’s emotional response and experience with the product
These three things make a testimonial believable and make other customers want to try it.
10. Blogging Websites and Social Platforms
Social Media is one of the premium spots for retailers to promote their products. If you want to promote and sell your web hosting service then you must also use social media platforms and blogs to spread awareness about your brand. The following are some benefits of social media for brand building:
• Increase Website Traffic: Social media posts and ads can drive up traffic as you can get more recognition through posts and also increase visibility. Offer great value and content on your pages and avoid being too promotional. However, you must add links to your website and your contact info for people who are interested.
• Boost Sales: Social media is a crucial part of your sales funnel as it allows a new contact to become a new customer.
• Partner with Influencers: You can partner with influencers with large followings to endorse your brand as it will humanize the brand and also spread awareness about your product to a large audience.
• Helps Establish Authority: If your blogs answer all the questions of customers and solve them, and if you keep creating content that is helpful for the customers, then over time they will start thinking of you as an authoritative figure. They will also buy services on your recommendation.
The information above mentions ten things that can help you boost your web hosting business. As the world has now become heavily reliant on the internet and the digital aspects, the web hosting services will be more in demand. However, you must be careful about the competition that prevails in the industry, and make use of the information above.
If you want to bring your business into the 21st century, then you must also adopt automatic and digital techniques to reduce costs. You must also drive brand awareness through digital platforms. Lastly, and most importantly, you must learn to manage your business operations and your workforce through digital means.
Mitesh Ganatra is CTO at HostNamaste.com. He shares his web hosting insights at HostNamaste blog. He mostly writes on the latest Web Hosting Business, News, Trends, WordPress, Storage Technologies, Windows, Linux Hosting Platforms and Control Panels.